Social Worker
Department Of Veterans Affairs - La Junta, CO

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Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 843291 (Include # on all documents)

Our mission: To fulfill President Lincoln's promise - "To care for him who
shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" - by serving and
honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans.

Your salary and grade will be determined by the Social Work Professional Standards Board (PSB). The PSB is a peer review process. The PSB will review your individual qualifications, education, professional training/internship(s) and professional experience to determine the most appropriate salary and grade based on your individual accomplishments.

The MHICM Senior Social Worker practices in the Southern Colorado Community Based Outpatient Clinics. Primary duty station will be in La Junta and Lamar and the surrounding community, within the VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System (VAECHCS). The goal of MHICM is to develop, implement, and assess the benefit of a behaviorally-oriented program of psychosocial rehabilitation, intensive case management, and community-based treatment for chronic mentally ill veterans. Specialized treatment services are provided in various community settings, including the day program, residential care homes, contract nursing homes, and various other community locations. Work is done in the context of an interdisciplinary treatment team, and extensive liaison activities with other interdisciplinary teams are required to provide continuity of care for assigned veterans in outpatient settings. Incumbent is responsible for overall coordination of the MHICM program for the VAECHCS Southern Community CBOCs, and works collaboratively with the Denver MHICM Coordinator.

KEY REQUIREMENTS

U. S. Citizenship.
English language proficiency required.
Pre-employment physical required.
Background and/or security investigation required.
Must be licensed/certified by a state to independenlty practice social work

Must possess masters degree in social work. DUTIES:
As a Senior Social Worker, the incumbent has experience that demonstrates possession of advanced practice skills and judgment and at least two years in the area of working with the chronically mentally ill. The incumbent must be licensed by a state at the advanced practice level. The incumbent adheres to the NASW Code of Ethics.

The incumbent requires specialized knowledge of psychiatric emergency assessment, suicide and homicide risk assessments, crisis intervention, chronic and acute mental health conditions, case management, community resources for chronically mentally ill, and the appropriate treatment interventions.

The advanced practice Social Worker demonstrates an ability to expand clinical knowledge in the profession, provide consultation and guidance to colleagues, role model effective social work practice skills, teach or provide orientation to less experienced Social Workers, develop innovations in practice interventions, and provide clinical supervision for social work licensure or certification.

Provide intensive case management services to assigned veterans and significant others, consistent with the goals and methods of MHICM and the VA Mental Health Initiative and with all relevant Medical Center policies and procedures. Intensive case management services are characterized by assertive outreach, individualized treatment planning, multidimensional orientation, and intensive delivery of services.

§ Frequent, direct contacts with patients to provide therapy and support. Frequency of contacts is increased in times of crisis.

§ Flexibility of veteran contact (veterans are seen in any location and with any MHICM team clinician who can provide assistance).

§ A focus on strengthening the patient’s ability to address acute and chronic problems.

§ Use of naturalistic community settings for teaching and modeling problem-solving skills providing intensive flexible community support

§ Provision of continuity of care within the framework established by MHICM. For example, collaborates and consults with other interdisciplinary treatment teams and programs to promote and enhance the care of patients.

§ Outreach and assertive provision of services to treatment resistant patients.

§ Mobilization of environmental and organizational supports, including family members, professional, and other interested parties. For example, undertakes individual, family and group therapies as well as educational programs for veterans, families and staff. Also responsible for linking patients to other VA programs and to community resources.

§ Identifies criteria for client entry, program operation and monitoring

§ Improve health status (reduce psychiatric symptoms & substance abuse);

§ Reduce psychiatric inpatient hospital use and dependency;

§ Improve community adjustment, functioning, and quality of life

§ Enhance satisfaction with services

§ Reduce treatment costs

Participate in team staffing regarding patient selection, determination of treatment plans and goals, progress evaluation, discharge planning, and after care.

Work assertively and consistently with inpatient teams to assure continuity of care by providing consultation regarding clinical needs, treatment plans, and case management services for assigned patients. Works assertively to promote appropriate treatment, rehabilitation, and expeditious discharge of assigned patients, consistent with program goals and with the individual treatment plans.

Is actively involved in readmission decisions, using the procedures established for this purpose.

Completes clinical documentation according to MHICM and Medical Center standards; this includes but is not limited to progress notes, clinical progress reports, the Treatment Planning Review Form, and the Rehospitalization Review Form. S(he) will be responsible for completion of required clinical records as well as MHICM forms for evaluation and monitoring of service delivery and outcome for the MHICM forms for evaluating and monitoring of service delivery and outcome for the MHICM Unit Manager, Outpatient Clinic and staff at Northeast Program Evaluation Center (NEPEC).

Work with other clinical programs and services that share in the care of assigned MHICM patients. In pursuit of programmatic and treatment goals, maintain effective working relationships and other professional and administrative personnel throughout the healthcare system and the community.

Meet with VA, community, and professional organizations and individuals as needed to carry out assigned developmental and implementation responsibilities. This includes but is not limited to representing the program by screening veteran for participation in any aspects of the program.

Provide documentation of patient care as prescribed by the MHICM and Medical Center policies. Documents any problem areas concerning implementation of the program and activities within the programs, and making suggestions for resolving any such problems consistent with MHICM and Medical Center policies and procedures.

WORK SCHEDULE: 8:00am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:

BASIC REQUIREMENTS:
a. Citizenship. Citizenship of the United States. (Non-citizens may be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with chapter 3, section A, paragraph 3g, this part.)

b. English Language Proficiency : If you are appointed to a direct patient care position, you must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. 7402 (d).

c. Education Requirement: Have a master's degree in social work from a school of social work fully accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). A doctoral degree in social work may not be substituted for the master's degree in social work. Verification of the degree can be made by going to the CSWE website to verify if that social work degree meets the accreditation standards for a master of social work.

GS-12 Senior Social Worker - Senior Social Workers have experience that demonstrates possession of advanced practice skills and judgement. At least two years should be in an area of specialized social work practice. Senior social workers must be licensed or certified by a state at the advanced practice level which included an ASWB advanced generalist or clinical examination, unless they are grandfathered by a state in which they are licensed to practice at the advanced practice level. Senior social workers may have certification or other post-masters training from a nationally recognized professional organization or university that includes a defined curriculum/course of study and internship or equivalent supervised professional experience in a specialty.

d. Licensure: Licensure or certification by a state at the advanced practice level which included an ASWB advanced generalist or clinical examination.

e. Specialized Experience: To be creditable, the experience must have required the use of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics associated with current professional social work practice. The experience or education must be post-MSW degree. Experience and education satisfying this requirement must be active professional practice, which is paid/non-paid employment as a professional social worker, as defined by the appropriate state licensing board.

IN DESCRIBING YOUR EXPERIENCE, PLEASE BE CLEAR AND SPECIFIC. WE WILL NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS REGARDING YOUR EXPERIENCE. If your resume does not support your questionnaire answers, we will not allow credit for your response(s).

Qualification Standards References: VA Handbook 5005, Part II, Appendix G39, SOCIAL WORKER QUALIFICATION STANDARD, dated February 29, 2012.

APPLICANTS PLEASE NOTE: Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Applicants must, therefore, only report attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html . All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly. *** If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. ***

Veterans Preference: Veterans must submit a copy of Form DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (Member 4 copy, which shows the characterization of service ), and if applicable, an SF 15, Application for 10-Point Veterans Preference and a Preference Letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs dated 1991 or later. Applicants claiming preference based on service-connected disability, or based on being the spouse or mother of a disabled or deceased Veteran, must complete an SF 15, Application for 10-Point Veterans Preference . Veterans who are still in the service may be granted tentative preference on the basis of information contained in their applications, but they must produce a DD Form 214 (showing the characterization of service) or other proof of service to receive consideration for veterans preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/veterans.aspx .

Schedule A: Schedule A applicants must submit a letter from a licensed medical professional or other entity. Along with resume, submit proof of your disability and job certification documentation to the agency. A Sample Schedule A Certification Letter can be downloaded for your provider's use.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:
Your application, résumé and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect consideration for employment. You may also be evaluated based upon the question responses you provide during a structured interview. In responding to structured interview questions you should be sure to cite specific examples of experience, explain exactly what you did, and the outcome. BENEFITS:
Working for the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, thrift savings plan, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. In addition to traditional "dollars and cents" benefits, we offer a range of benefits to help balance work and life. For more information please visit us at http://www4.va.gov/JOBS/Job_Benefits/benefits.asp . OTHER INFORMATION:

This position is in the Excepted Service and does not confer competitive status.

Conditions of Employment:
  • Applicants must be citizens of the United States.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, or 16 with a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent, as of the closing date of this vacancy announcement.
  • All Non-VA applicants tentatively selected for VA employment in any designated position are subject to urinalysis to screen for illegal drug use prior to appointment. Applicants who refuse to be tested will be denied employment with VA.
  • Subject to suitability determination.
  • Employees who occupy a Testing Designated Position are subject to random testing.
  • Males born after 31 December 1959 must be registered or exempt from Selective Service (see www.sss.gov ).
  • You may be required to serve a one-year initial probationary period.
  • Within 30 days after hire, you are required to obtain Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification from the American Heart Association. It is highly desirable that this certification is obtained prior to employment.
Receiving Service Credit for Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employees credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave.

Special Employment Consideration: Individuals eligible for the following appointments are encouraged to apply: 5 CFR 213.3102 "u", Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities ; mental retardation, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities; and Disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more.

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The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a government-run military veteran benefit system with Cabinet-level status. It is...